Syria slams deadly United States strike as 'war crime'

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"We estimate more than 100 Syrian pro-regime forces were killed while engaging SDF and coalition forces", a United States military official said on condition of anonymity.The SDF and the coalition targeted the attacking forces with air strikes and shelling after "20 to 30 artillery and tank rounds landed within 500 metres (yards) of the SDF headquarters location", the official said.

"The coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repel the act of aggression against partners engaged in the global coalition's defeat-Daesh mission", the coalition said in a statement, using the alternative term "Daesh" for the jihadi group.

Some 500 fighters had tried take ground captured from the Islamic State (IS) group by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The new aggression by USA troops and allied countries against troops loyal to President, Bashar Al-Assad, comes at a time when Turkey is developing a strong offensive in the Syrian enclave of Afrin and other northern areas against Kurdish-Arab forces.

Talking about the USA support for fighters in the region, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech to his party, "They tell us, 'Don't come to Manbij.' We will come to Manbij to hand over these territories to their rightful owners".

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The United Nations called Tuesday for a monthlong humanitarian ceasefire throughout Syria as fighting escalates in certain areas. Hossein Salami, acting commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, did not acknowledge Israel's claim it shot down the drone .

The coalition observed a slow buildup of pro-regime forces over the past week, she added.

Nebenzia slammed the USA, saying Moscow sees an "intensification" of efforts aimed at "defaming" Russia's efforts to achieve a political settlement.

In a statement, it said 25 militia were wounded, and accused the United States of being motivated by economic concerns as the strike took place near an oil refinery.

Those pro-regime vehicles and personnel who retreated were not targeted by coalition air and artillery strikes, he said. One SDF fighter was injured, the U.S. officials said.

Before the USA counter-attack began, American military officials called their Russian counterparts on a pre-established hotline to voice concern about the build-up.

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The group said the right to call itself "Turkish" was enshrined in the constitution and reflected its service to the public good. In the a year ago , Moscow, Tehran and Ankara have been working together, in what has been dubbed the "Astana Process".

It's not the first time US -led forces in the country primarily to hunt ISIS have targeted pro-Assad forces in self-defense.

A deconfliction line establishing the Euphrates River as the divide between the rival forces was negotiated between the USA and Russian militaries a year ago, and until now it has served to mostly keep the armies apart.

Coalition and Russian officials were "in regular communication...before, during and after" the assault, the same official said. Roughly a battalion of pro-regime forces launched what appeared to be a coordinated attacks supported by D-30 howitzers, Soviet-era T-54 and T-72 tanks, rockets and mortars, he said.

Inherent Resolve is in Syria and Iraq with an explicit objective to defeat ISIS, not to fight Assad's forces.

Russian Federation on Thursday said the U.S. goal in Syria was not to fight IS, but to capture the country's economic assets.

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